Thorne and Hatfield Moors Peat Canals
Records of the Thorne and Hatfield Moors Peat Canals: a sketch of the canals late 18th century.
Late 18th century
These records are available immediately for research
Originally peat was transported from Hatfield Chase to the Trent via the Don Navigation. This route was closed off after the Dutch River was constructed in the 1630s. Shortly after, a canal was cut from Hatfield Chase to the Trent. By the mid-18th century, several cuts had been made from Thorne Moors to the Don and there was a pound lock constructed near Thorne that appears on maps from about 1767. It is possible there was another lock. Traffic was plentiful until the early 19th century when some cuttings were reclaimed for agriculture. The opening of the Stainforth & Keadby Canal, in 1802, and the enclosure of the moors had adversely affected the peat trade. In 1815 a drain about 2 miles long was cut. It was navigable and brought the total navigable waterway to about 6 miles. Traffic probably tailed off in the 1830s. Traffic revived somewhat in the 1880s as peat was used as stable litter for horses. A Dutch firm, the Griendtsveen Moss Litter Company Ltd adapted old drains and built some new cuts and an aqueduct. This new system was separate from the old canals and was in use until the 1920s. For further information onthe Thorne and Hatfield Moors Peat Canals see Edward Paget-Tomlinson's 'The Illustrated History of Canals & River Navigations' and Charles Hadfield's 'The Canals of Yorkshire and North East England Volumes 1 and 2'.
It has not been possible to ascertain any original structure of record-keeping from the small number of records held for this company. The fonds has therefore been arranged in chronological order.